Ah, not to be cut off,
not through the slightest partition
shut out from the law of the stars.
The inner-what is it?
if not intensified sky,
hurled through with birds and deep
with the winds of homecoming.
go out in the countryside
Oh sit by the clear, cool, crystal water
Get my spirit, way back to the feeling
Deep in my soul
lives have become increasingly removed from nature. Wilderness has
been reduced to isolated refuges. As new development and building
spread, there are fewer wild areas. Yet, each year people flock
to these refuges, these parks, to admire and connect with nature.
As we speed onward with progress, there is an intellectual and emotional
longing for the natural world. Today is different from America in
the 19th century. Civilization was moving west and progress represented
promise. At that time there began a style of landscape painting
sometimes referred to as "The Hudson River School". This
was a peculiarly American style of landscape painting influenced
by this country's large tracts of wilderness. Progress is documented
in these paintings. Wilderness is depicted in the foreground of
some of these works. As one's eye moves to the background, one witnesses
stages of man's progress that culminates with a town or city. The
artists expressed reverence for the landscape and sorrow about the
vanishing wilderness. They lamented the loss of the native peoples
and their lands. The devotional quality to many of these paintings
suggests that nature and God were one.
a link to America's early landscape painters. Whereas they document
the progress of civilization with its attendant loss of the wild
and unknown, I want to reclaim the wilderness. We can no longer
experience unknown wild areas. We can visit designated wild areas,
parks. We have become removed from nature, both physically and intellectually.
Yet I believe a connection to nature is needed. It seems ingrained
in our psyche.
refuges, places to go to for solace. I want my paintings to be destinations
of quiet and calm. However, this world is fragile. The elements
in the foregrounds of my paintings are items carefully constructed,
either by humans or animals. Yet, they are objects easily broken
or destroyed. Birds represent messengers from the wild. They embody
beauty and fragility. They are visitors that remind us of lands
beyond, wilderness. The distant landscapes in my paintings are remembrances
of the natural past, vaguely familiar and pleasing.
natural world seems essential to me but I am puzzled by how one
can integrate it into our urban lives. Although, we are neither
able nor willing to return to an Arcadian state, we still need to
have a relationship with nature. I want to add a sense of balance,
order and beauty to a world that is weighted in the opposite.